Sir Bradley Wiggins will be a guest star on Radio Four’s long-running rural soap The Archers on March 21 as the fictional village of Ambridge gets behind Sport Relief.
Wiggins will play himself as the village puts on the Ambridge Rough and Tumble Sport Relief event.
Sir Bradley will be the event’s guest of honour, handing out the gong to the winner, but will also encounter Lynda Snell’s rusty old bike, and, according to reports, hilarity will ensue.
“When I was asked to record a Sport Relief special for The Archers, there was no way I could turn it down,” Wiggins said in a statement. “I grew up with it on the radio in the house, and it’s not every day you get to star in the world’s longest running soap opera.
“Meeting the cast, the writer and the director was an honour and I really hope the storyline will raise awareness about Sport Relief’s amazing work, and that it shows people that everyone can get involved in Sport Relief this year.”
The Archers has played host to a vast range of guest stars over the years. Terry Wogan, Judi Dench, John Peel, Richard Griffiths, Mike Gatting, Griff Rhys Jones, and Dame Edna have all appeared in The Archers as themselves.
Reactions among Archers fans on the show’s Facebook page were generally positive. Sally Budd posted: “Absolutely Brilliant! Bradders in the Archers I am sooo excited!!!!” and Nick Poole agreed: “To have my sporting hero in my beloved Archers would be simply amazing!”
But Mary Hoffman said: “I am glad you are all so happy. It’s just yawnsville for me but - you know - horses for courses. Or bikes, I suppose.”
We doubt Wiggins has the time to follow up Susannah Weeks’ idea, though, as he’d have to become a show regular. “Could someone fall in love with him?” she said.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.